The Good Intentions (2018), by Gilles Legrand – Criticism

There are very good moments when he makes the viewer smile but, from the 60th minute, he enters a loop that seems endless.

The director Gilles Legrand, who has signed cinematographic works as important as You will be mon fills (2011) or L´ordeur de la manderine (2015), presents us Good intentions, which in the Gallic country was released several months ago, by the way, with a great blockbuster. It is not for less. The film stars the admired Agnès Jaqui, whom we were lucky to meet in person at the last Francophone Film Festival, where she is considered one of the best directors, interpreter and screenwriter. Under his belt he has nine works written with the complicity of Jean-Pierre Bacri, which have been awarded in numerous César Awards and an Award for Best Screenplay in Cannes for Like a picture (2004). We also had the pleasure of attending a whole retrospective of his work in which films were screened as Full of life (2018), Like a picture (2004), A french tale (2013) and, among others, 50 springs (2017) or All yours (2015).

Without a doubt, Jaqui makes an excellent interpretation in Les bonnes intentions; the weight of the film falls on her, although the actors Alban Ivanov (The big bathroom, 2018), Claire Sermonne (Inferno d´August Strindberg, 2015), Tim Seyfi (Bye Bye Germany, 2017) and, among others Michéle Moretti (Chouquette, 2017) are at all times up to scratch supporting the main actress. So far everything is right, we could even start writing about the great cinematographic talents of the neighboring country that, for some time now, are the envy of many European countries.

Good intentionsLike any light comedy, part of a simple idea, a mess without complications and a pleasant outcome. Guilles Legrand follows the formula to the letter, but the idea does not give for a 103-minute film and, the balance he wants to maintain at all costs, between drama and comedy, enters a somewhat repetitive and uninteresting loop . The script (written by Legrand and Léonore Confino himself) stretches like a gum and it shows. It would have been perfect for a 60-minute medium-length film, but the viewer perfectly realizes those extra minutes in which the development of the film floats.

Good intentionsLike any light comedy, part of a simple idea, a mess without complications and a pleasant outcome.

The script tells us the story of Isabelle (Agnés Jaqui), an addict to charitable causes. It is always going from one humanitarian action to another. He often uses his philanthropy as a way to feel guilty about his family and friends, since he forgets important dates and inescapable dates. The arrival of a charismatic benefactor at the social center where she works threatens her position, so that she is about to be fired. As a way to restore his position, the implacable Isabelle competes to do good and open a driving school for refugees in Paris, although he must use the money for his family.

Broadly speaking, I just told you the script of the movie and there is no more and, the troubled knot, part of the money you spend so that refugees can get a driving license. We found that for the very high level and dominance that French light comedy has in cinemas around the world, Good intentions It does not fit the size we are used to. And I do not say that it is bad either, since there are very good moments in which it makes the viewer smile but, as I have said before, from the sixties minute, it enters a loop that seems endless.


Synopsis Isabelle is addicted to beneficial causes. It is always going from one humanitarian action to another. The arrival of a charismatic benefactor at the social center where she works threatens her position. As a way to restore his reputation, Isabelle decides to open a refugee school, whatever the cost.
country France
Direction Gilles Legrand
Script Léonore Confino, Gilles Legrand
Music Armand Amar
Photography Pierre Cottereau
Distribution Agnès Jaoui, Alban Ivanov, Claire Sermonne, Tim Seyfi, Michéle Moretti, Philippe Torreton, Eric Viellard
Gender Comedy
Duration 103 min.
Title original Les Bonnes intentions
Premiere 12/13/2019

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